ROCKAWAY BEACH — Mayor Bill de Blasio announced expanded ferry service across the five boroughs in his State of the City address Tuesday, saying the rides will improve transportation as the city continues to grow.
The new ferry routes include Astoria, southern Brooklyn, the Lower East Side, Soundview in The Bronx and Rockaway Beach — and will cost the same amount as a subway ride, he announced.
They come months after the Rockaway ferry service was controversially shut down.
The ferries will be run and funded by the city, and some routes are expected to begin in 2017, according to the mayor's office.
The mayor's office said the ferry expansion — which was first reported by DNAinfo New York Tuesday morning — was a way to accommodate the city's growing population.
The Citywide Ferry Service "will knit together existing East River routes with new landings and services to Astoria, the Rockaways, South Brooklyn, Soundview and the Lower East Side," the mayor's office said in a press release.
It will cost $55 million, with plans to expand to Coney Island and Stapleton in Staten Island once more money is secured, the city said.
The city had already announced plans last November for a dock at the Astoria Cove development, which will be funded by the mayor's office, the Queens Borough President Melinda Katz's office and City Councilman Costa Constantinides.
The Astoria line is expected to open in 2017, according to the mayor's office, and will stop at Long Island City, Roosevelt Island, East 34th Street and Pier 11/Wall Street.
The South Brooklyn ferry is also set to open that year, according to a press release, and will stop at Pier 11/Wall Street, Bay Ridge, Red Hook, Atlantic Avenue/Pier 6 and Fulton/DUMBO, according to the mayor’s office.
Politicians also pushed for expanded ferry service on the Lower East Side last fall. That line is scheduled to start running in 2018 from Grand Street, according to the mayor's office. The Grand Street ferry will make stops in Long Island City, East 34th Street, East 23rd Street, Grand Street and Pier 11/Wall Street, the mayor's office said.
The office also said Soundview's ferry service will begin in 2018 and will hit East 90th Street, East 62nd Street and Wall Street/Pier 11.
Some of the planned routes have run before, including the Rockaway ferry, which also stopped at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and halted in October after the city cited budget constraints. Each ferry ride was subsidized by about $30, the Economic Development Corporation said.
Renewed service on the Rockaway ferry is scheduled to start in 2017, the mayor's office said, and will stop at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and at Pier 11/Wall Street.
The Rockaway service began in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy knocked out subway service to the peninsula, and the mayor said it was always meant to be a "temporary measure."
“Look, the notion of the ferry was to address what was the absence of mass transit," he said at a job fair in Far Rockaway last fall.
"That is the core reason the ferry was there. It was a stopgap. It was a temporary measure.”
State Senator Joseph Addabbo said the ferry "is the Rockaways' most viable transportation option and can bring great economic advantages," but said the transportation issues needed an immediate fix.
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder said he was "encouraged" by the news of the Rockaway ferry's return but added that the 2017 start date was too far away.
"Our ferry dock at Beach 108th was disassembled and shipped away overnight," he said in a statement.
"It should not take two years to bring it back. Our struggling families deserve equal access to transit just like every other resident in this city and I will not stop fighting until this is a reality."